Pop Act Haim’s big push to stardom + video premiere for new single ‘The Wire’

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Este Haim is aware of a particular line written about her in the Wikipedia entry for HAIM, the indie-pop band from Los Angeles she formed with her two sisters and drummer Dash Hutton, previously a member of Los Angeles bands Wires on Fire and Slang Chicken. It reads: “At gigs, Este has developed a reputation for her blunt and coarse banter with the crowd.”

“Yeah,” she says on the phone recently, “and then it continues like, ‘most often to her sisters’ embarrassment’ or something. Oh, my God.”

True or false?

“I mean, I definitely talk on stage the way I do in real life. I just don’t really have a filter,” she says, proudly. “I’m not going to change anytime soon.”

Vulgarity seems to be part of the package that has made HAIM such a buzzed-about band over the past year, even without a debut album. The band members, Este on bass, Danielle on lead guitar and vocals, Alana on keyboards, with drummer Dash Hutton. They’re the product of direct marketing, a type of advertising campaign that seeks to elicit an action (to like what they are promoting,  a visit to a store or web site, watching a video,  or a request for further information) from a selected group of consumers.  The direct marketer often selects the individuals who will receive the promotion, and is the direct recipient of the response, if any.  In the music industry, the response may be the purchase of an album, tickets for a concert or a festival,  the band’s promo merch and, most important, a variety of promotion media such as self-service video advertising in YouTube,  music magazine interviews and newspaper inserts.  Haim seemed to pop out of nowhere, which, of course, wasn’t the case.  Everything seems to have been carefully planned.

Watch the videos below, undoubtedly a way to promote the band with silly videos that leave a lot to be desired.

Phoenix Teach Haim French At Leeds Festival 2013

Halma Violets – Palma Violets  / Anarchy Backstage at Reading 2013

After starting the band in 2006,  the quartet finally released their first EP last year – mostly so that their friends would stop hounding them to do so – and they have played the songs “Forever” and “Falling” at every concert and festival they performed  for lack of recorded songs. Around the same time they were signed to Columbia Records, which will release their debut album “Days Are Gone” on Sept. 30. (Before the album is even out, they’re headlining the Paradise Rock Club on Sunday.)

The label deal came in tandem with touring with Florence + the Machine and Rihanna and, in January, topping the BBC’s Sound of 2013, an annual poll that gauges who will be big in pop music the coming year – Not bad for a band that still has no album on the market, but celebrities and important influential people in the music industry are pushing hard for them.

“For a little bit, it was like, ‘Are we ever going to finish it?’” Haim says of the debut album. “I think if we could have, we would have spent the next seven years making it. At a point, you think, ‘OK, it needs to be done.’ For us, we knew the songs we wanted to put on the record, we knew what we wanted them to sound like. It just took us a while to get to exactly what they were going to sound like.”

To that end, “Days Are Gone” is one of those effortless pop records that feels like it was hammered out in a weekend over beers in the studio. Most of the songs included in the debut album were released in the UK in 2012,   cheesy songs about love and breakups,  with the exception of ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’ if indeed this is the song whose lyrics were written by  Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson for the album Eve (1979).

“We know what we like,” Haim says. “The record is a reflection of us being a band for the past seven years. We wanted to bring in a bunch of different vibes on the record. When we were in the studio, we were all about throwing the spaghetti against the wall and seeing what stuck, so to speak,” she adds. “The stuff that stuck, we put together those songs.”

The United Kingdom, it turns out, has been instrumental in elevating the band’s profile. Haim has a theory on why that is.

“I think the UK has this thirst for new music,” she says, “and I don’t know if that’s so apparent in America. They really took a chance on us. We weren’t even signed when they started playing our songs. We were just some random band from the Valley in LA.” One wonders why…

Unlike, say, Best Coast, which has never shed its association with California, HAIM transcends matters of provenance.

“We never thought of ourselves as quintessentially California. We’re from California, and I think you can hear that we’ve definitely had a healthy dose of vitamin D in our day,” Haim says, even joking that the sisters’ style choices are very much in line with sun and sand. “Hair is very important in this band. Our parents never let us cut our hair when we were kids. We looked like ‘Children of the Corn.’ I think we look more like ‘Little House of the Prairie’ these days.”

As they continue to be pushed to stardom, the Haim sisters are trying to manage the hype as best they can, taking refuge in the fact that, no matter what happens, they’re family.

“This is the thing: My sisters and I are best friends. I think a lot of people roll their eyes when I say that. But it’s really the truth,” Haim says. “We’re human. We have tiffs, but they come down to ‘Why didn’t you ask me to borrow your jacket?’ or ‘You went to go see the new One Direction movie, and you didn’t ask me to go with you, and I’m really sad about it.’ It’s stuff like that. Yeah, we’re a band, but at the end of the day, we’re sisters. We run around festivals together, we get funnel cakes, and take pictures and have a good time together.”

Days Are Gone‘ tracklisting is as follows:

1. ‘Falling’ (This song was released in the UK on February 12, 2013)

2. ‘Forever’ (Old song released onto YouTube on June 7, 2012)

3. ‘The Wire’ (2012) 

4. ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’ (Haim?)

5. ‘Honey & I’ (recorded in the UK on September 26, 2012)

6. ‘Don’t Save Me’ (released in the UK on November 8, 2012)

7. ‘Days Are Gone’ (new?)

8. ‘My Song 5′ (new?)

9. ‘Go Slow’ (recorded in the UK on September 26, 2012)

10. ‘Let Me Go’ (recorded in the UK on September 26, 2012)

11. ‘Running If You Call My Name’ (new?)

Let’s get to Haim’s ‘Days Are Gone’ debut album:

The Wire (2012) – Haim’s masterpiece according to Mike Powell (RS) who wrote:  “The latest from this trio [ Haim is a quartet, unless the drummer doesn’t count] of L.A. sisters is a stomping, swerving piece of Fleetwood Mac-esque stadium pop – and the most triumphant breakup song since Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Haim don’t bother waiting for the chorus to hook you: On this slice of aural apple pie, each section is catchier than the last.”

Fleetwood Mac?  ”Aural apple pie?  Gee, Brain, you aren’t going to get rid of this guy, are you Brain? I mean, you, working as a single?

“The Wire” deserves a place among the dumbest lyrics ever: “But I fumbled and when I came down to the wire / It felt great, it felt right, oh” is repeated 13 times; Ooh yeah yeah yeah yeah / No no no no / It felt right/ It felt right/It felt right / No no no no / But I fumbled and when I came down to the wire” . And you call this “the most triumphant breakup song” since Taylor Swift’s friggin “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”… yadda yadda yadda??

If Mr. Powell didn’t have the chance to listen  to a song of Fleetwood Mac, he should try  now and compare. Fleetwood Mac is one of the great lost blues bands, the quintessence of California soft-rock and LA excess or one of the greatest pop groups of all time.” See why with this classic live performance of “Dreams”. Then listen to Haim’s The Wire with its idiotic theme tune:

The Wire – Haim

Dreams – Fleetwood Mac

‘If I Could Change Your Mind’–  Alan Parsons Project: This is a song that was written by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson for the album Eve (1979).

British singer, songwriter Lesley Duncan.

British singer, songwriter Lesley Duncan.

The song was sung by Lesley Duncan, an acclaimed singer-songwriter, she wrote Elton John’s Love Song. Lesley was one of Britain’s first female singer-songwriters. Her songs had an astonishing emotional depth and her voice a rare combination of warmth and clarity, bringing an intimacy to the experience of listening to her records. For those who discovered her music in the early 1970s, she stood out from all the other pop and rock of the era. She released a dozen singles from 1963 to 1970, while continuing to write songs for other performers, including the Walker Brothers. Lesley died of cerebro-vascular disease at age 66.

We have looked for the lyrics of Haim’s “If I could Change Your Mind” but they are not available yet. We hope this is not a cover of Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfsoh but a new song written by Haim.

Lesley Duncan – If I could change your mind

Haim – If I could change your mind / video or audio and lyrics are not available yet.

Music critic Dan Hyman (RS)  wrote about Haim’s debut album: “It’s every bit worth the wait. There’s palpable maturity in the lyrics: On “If I Could Change Your Mind.”  Wait, are you going to tell me that this guy didn’t do his homework before writing about the debut album?  Gosh, Hyman doesn’t know that this song was written by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson for the album Eve (1979)?  And he goes on: “Danielle is a self-admitted newbie at the whole love thing (“I’ve never done this before/drove a million miles/back when you were mine/I was too young to know you were the one to find”); later she’s brushing off a former lover on “Honey & I,” then flat-out giving dude the cold shoulder (“Honey, I’m not your honey-pie,”) with “palpable maturity”  over a “ripping electric guitar lick and a bass wobble generally reserved for sweaty dance clubs on the pop-friendly “My Song 5.”

And life goes on.

Video: My Morning Jacket – Outta My System

Jim James - Frontman, singer, guitarist of My Morning Jacket

Jim James, vocals, guitar – My Morning Jacket

Since their formation in 1998 Louisville, Kentucky’s My Morning Jacket have grown from being one of America’s most promising young bands to one of the world’s most beloved rock bands. From their debut full-length (1999’s The Tennessee Fire) through their Grammy-nominated fifth album (2008’s Evil Urges) the band has taken risks which each release, always choosing the musically adventurous path.

MMJ also have the rare quality of being as lauded for their studio albums as they are for their electrifying live shows. This reputation has led them to perform on shows like Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show, as well as legendary venues such as Red Rocks & Madison Square Garden. My Morning Jacket’s eclectic reach and captivating shows have brought them to a wide array of festival stages ranging from Bonnaroo, Coachella, and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival among many others.

In October of 2010, the band played a historic five-night run of shows at New York’s Terminal 5, each night playing one of their albums in its entirety. They have also been fortunate enough to perform with many iconic musicians over the years from the Boston Pops to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and everywhere in between. MMJ are currently recording their sixth album in Louisville, due to be released in Spring 2011.

My Morning Jacket is:

Jim James (vocals, guitar)
Tom Blankenship (bass)
Patrick Hallahan (drums)
Bo Koster (keyboards)
Carl Broemel (guitar)